I LOVE Thai food! But until recently I found the idea of making Thai food at home quite intimidating.
This salad hits all 5 of the requisite Thai flavour profiles (sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter) and is so simple to make.
1 kg green (raw) prawns (shrimp), peeled and de-veined. You can use as much or as little seafood in this dish as you like. NEVER PEELED AND DE-VEINED RAW PRAWNS/SHRIMP BEFORE? No worries! Check out the amazing video tutorial below from Sydney Fish Market!
Speedy Thai Marinade
Juice of two limes
2 tablespoons oil of your choice. Purists use peanut oil in Thai recipes, but honestly I often just use olive oil and it still tastes awesome
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, finely diced. You choose the variety of chilli and whether to leave the seeds in or remove them, according to how much heat you want in your meal.
Simple Thai Salad
The "foundational" ingredients in Thai salads are coriander (cilantro), mint and cucumber. So if you want to go super simple, just make your salad with these three ingredients. But as a nutritionist I want my peeps to eat a rainbow of colourful veggies every day, so of course my Thai salad will have lots of extra colourful ingredients!
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves only, roughly chopped*
1 bunch mint, leaves only, stalks and stems discarded, roughly chopped
1 lebanese cucumber, cut in half lengthways and then finely sliced**
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 green onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), julienned (finely sliced into match sticks)
1 carrot, grated or julienned
1 generous handful (10-15) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (I have used tiny yellow tomatoes in the salad in the pic!)
Simple Thai Dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tablespoon sweet chilli sauce OR 1 tablespoon Siracha chilli sauce plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup OR 1 finely diced chilli and 1 teaspoon honey
2-3 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce. If you don't have fish sauce, don't panic, just use 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
First, peel and de-vein your prawns
Next, make Simple Thai Marinade:
Place all marinade ingredients in a flat dish and mix with a fork to combine.
Now place your prawns into the marinade.
Mix to coat everything and leave to sit for 15 minutes before pan frying or barbecuing. Remember, this is a “speedy” (10-20 minuet) marinade. Don’t leave to marinate too long or the lime juice will “cook” your seafood.
While prawns are marinating, make Simple Thai Salad and Dressing
To make simple Thai Dressing:
Place all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Serve with Thai Salad.
To make Simple Thai Salad:
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Add Simple Thai Dressing.
Toss well to combine and arrange on a serving platter or in bowls.
Now pan-fry or barbecue your marinated prawns.
They will only need 5-8 minutes over high heat. You will know they are cooked through when the flesh turns orange-red and firms up.
Arrange cooked prawns over Simple Thai Salad.
How to peel and de-vein raw prawns/shrimp:
* If you absolutely HATE coriander (cilantro), you can use extra mint and some shredded cos lettuce. But do give it a try - my husband can’t stand coriander but he loves this salad!
** Purists use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds before slicing the cucumber. I am way too lazy to do that and my Thai salads turn out just fine.